This Black Bear Bacon recipe was featured in The Best Start: Wild Game Breakfast Cooking Special. Enjoy!
3 lbs bear bacon (from the saddle—you want a good ratio of backstrap to back fat, similar to pork bacon)
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups salt
1 tblsp pink salt
1 cup maple syrup
1. Mix brown sugar, salt and pink salt in a bowl. Then add maple syrup and combine.
2. Pack the brine onto the meat. You want a good, solid coating.
3. Vacuum seal the meat in the brine if you have a vacuum sealer, or wrap in 6-7 layers of plastic wrap or a Ziploc bag and brine for about five days, flipping every day to let the liquid go through the meat. This will draw out a lot of water as well.
4. Remove the meat from the plastic wrap or vacuum seal bag and rinse thoroughly. Pat dry. It should feel a little sticky to the touch.
5. Place the meat in a smoker at 200 – 250 degrees Fahrenheit until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
6. Slice to desired thickness on a meat slicer.
7. Serve, or fry in a pan and serve with “Toad in the Hole”—an egg fried in a hole of toasted, sliced bread.